Straight Outta Compton

Critics Consensus

Straight Outta Compton is a biopic that's built to last, thanks to F. Gary Gray's confident direction and engaging performances from a solid cast.



Total Count: 237


Audience Score

User Ratings: 75,719
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Movie Info

In the mid-1980s, the streets of Compton, California, were some of the most dangerous in the country. When five young men translated their experiences growing up into brutally honest music that rebelled against abusive authority, they gave an explosive voice to a silenced generation. Following the meteoric rise and fall of N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton tells the astonishing story of how these youngsters revolutionized music and pop culture forever the moment they told the world the truth about life in the hood and ignited a cultural war. -- (C) Universal Pictures


Paul Giamatti
as Jerry Heller
Elena Goode
as Nicole Threatt
Keith Powers
as Tyree Crayton
R. Marcos Taylor
as Suge Knight
Joshua Brockington
as Young Warren G
Sheldon Smith
as Warren G
Lisa Renee Pitts
as Verna Griffin
Angela Gibbs
as Doris Jackson
Bruce Beatty
as Hosea Jackson
Corey Reynolds
as Lonzo Williams
Tate Ellington
as Bryan Turner
F. Gary Gray
as Greg Mack
Andrew Borba
as Journalist
Mark Sherman
as Jimmy Iovine
Matt Corboy
as Journalist
Larry Sullivan
as Journalist
Deborah Lacey
as Journalist
Kofi Siriboe
as Block Dude
Orlando Brown
as Block Dude
Matthew Boylan
as LAPD Crash Cop
Chic Daniel
as LAPD Crash Cop
Tim Connolly
as LAPD Cop
Cris D'Annunzio
as Uniform Cop
Dan Wells
as Uniform Cop
Justin Goslee
as Doo To's Security Guard
Al Wexo
as Officer
Marcus Callender
as HBO Rapper
Vaughn Wilkinson
as HBO Rapper
Dean Cameron
as Capitol Records Executive
Mark Thomas Holguin
as Torrance Cop
Sky Soleil
as Torrance Cop
Inny Clemons
as Officer Rauch
Jody Burks
as Big Dude
Scott Endicott
as Tour Bus Driver
Greg Collins
as Joe Louis Police
Rob Brownstein
as CNN Journalist
Water L
as Guy with Dog
Nigel Lawes
as Chillin' Cop
Lazarus Guidry
as Poor Bastard
Ariel Rogers
as Goon Girl
Lafrazia D. Knighten
as Suge's Pit Handler
Ashley Stepteau
as Street Interviewee
Christian Brown
as Street Interviewee
Ebony Randall
as Street Interviewee
John Prosky
as Young Doctor
Derrick McMillon
as Ron Sweeney
Rob Nagle
as LAPD Westwood
Travis Nicholson
as Georgia Officer
Todd Quillen
as Alabama Officer
Matthew Downs
as Missouri Officer
Leo Stallworth
as News Reporter
Joy Benedict
as News Reporter
Thomas Q. Jones
as Large Man
Toni Duclottni
as Menage Girl
Phedra Syndelle
as Menage Girl
Zee James
as Tasha
Simon Rhee
as Korean Store Owner
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News & Interviews for Straight Outta Compton

Critic Reviews for Straight Outta Compton

All Critics (237) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (209) | Rotten (28)

  • It's far from being a full and frank account.

    Sep 3, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The young cast are so convincing on stage it's easy to forget you're not watching the real thing.

    Aug 30, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The NWA story is told in the style of a luxe, classic-era studio biopic. And it's scintillating.

    Aug 27, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The story of the rise and subsequent implosion of one of the most influential bands in US rap history gets a sweeping, epic, but somewhat partisan treatment in F Gary Gray's explosive drama Straight Outta Compton.

    Aug 27, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • It twists the volume dial clockwise.

    Aug 27, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The core of the story is business, the object is power, and the quirks of desire and twists of the unconscious are given no place in the struggle-which the movie sharply carries ahead to the present day.

    Aug 24, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Straight Outta Compton

  • Jul 06, 2017
    Wow, Great, impressive film. I found it riveting, relentless and and at times edgy. Maybe it's bias on my part because I followed the group and the artists that are portrayed in the film, but "Straight out of Compton " impressed me such as easily being one of the best films I've seen this year. Straight Outta Compton tells of the controversial group NWA that emerges from the rough urban streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California in the mid-1980s and who created, developed, and revolutionize Hip Hop culture with their very controversial music in the form of 'gangsta' rap and also presenting the tales of life in the 'hood. ' Compton' was already very intriguing to me because I followed the group and a couple of the artists who later became very popular in the hip hop world and eventually Hollywood movies, I was already clued in how the group was created and formed,.. how it was decided what would be their format, approach and style, how they would come to form their identity, who would be the lead singers, what they had to endure from FCC, and tales of their own brutal encounter with corrupted local law enforcement, I thought about the irony timing to which controversial law enforcement seems frequently in the news nowadays. The movie pretty much displays some of their true to life details of how the group tried to stay together when outside (and inside) forces attempt to corrupt and break apart the group. Egos, contract disputes, How they were being pursued and forced to have their music lyrics censored. How they help heightened and bring along an entirely new brand style of rap (gangsta rap) when at the time the lesser "fun" toned hip-hop rap (ala "kid n' play", Kool Mo Dee, Fresh Prince Wil Smith, etc.) were still on the scene. It told of how Ice cube ended up parting on bad terms with 'Ruthless' productions (Dre, Eazy E) they even brought up historic moments such as Rodney King, and major LA city riot crisis. Then there's introduction of legendary hip hop rappers Tupac Shakar, (played by Marc Rose) Snoop Dog ( played by Keith Stanfield) , the horror stories of the Scandals and corruption of Death Row Productions - and how Row's ruthless executive producer Shug Knight (who is currently on trial for murder) tried to manipulate Dre, Ice Cube and threaten Easy E and his managers, etc. Knight was brilliantly portrayed by R.Marcos Taylor. And of course, eventual fateful, sad demise and end of star Eric Wright (Aka Eazy E.) I was so impressed with how the film was constantly going and rolling, never really seem to have a slow-drag moment, I liked the way the actors/group members was introduced in the beginning credits, I like how a particular rap song was broken down to define/explain the lyrical wording. Great pace, great intrigue, great characters that either had you laughing with humor or captivated with their emotional moments to where I was hype with anxiousness to see what was going to happen from one scene to the next.. From being to end it kept me the viewing audience totally engaged. It made little mention of how the group decided on wearing the color black and sports related paraphilia the recording sessions scenes are not in the league of " Hustle & Flow " and it's edited down to give you a brief tease of the songs Such that it stayed with me, and had me thinking about it a lot even after I left the theater, and flat out gave me the desire to so very much see it again to see it again immediately. Overall such a brilliant combination of direction, script write, cinematography and very solid acting performances that turned this film into a masterpiece: I thought it was excellent direction by Felix Gary Gray, terrific acting performances by front running stars of the cast crew, - especially by Jason Mitchell (as Easy E.) Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, ...O'Shea Jackson Jr.- who portrays his real live father Ice Cube's - and who draws such an astounding looking resemblance to his father 'til it's ridiculously scary. and Paul Giamatti as manager Jerry Heller. Mitchell brought energy and charismatic presence, both as inspiring leader and emotional tragedy, his role and performance blew me away the further the movie and dramatics grew. The connection between he and his manager Jerry was a big noteworthy element to the film. Maybe this type of film is not going to be for everyone's interest, but for me, and how it was presented, kept rolling and was so very well scripted and well performed, it was sheer delight. I can't think of a biopic made film about a musical group that made any better than this. This film will really stay with you after you've seen it. On a scale of 1 to 10 , I'd give it an 9.0
    earl c Super Reviewer
  • Feb 28, 2017
    This is a movie which will grip you even if you're not a big fan of rap pioneers NWA, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dogg. If you are a fan, you'll probably be in heaven. Either way, I highly recommend this movie, which has it all: great acting, a compelling story, riveting direction, and most importantly, honesty. It doesn't make excuses, but at the same time, you see the genesis for NWA's incendiary lyrics: blatant racism and brutality by the LAPD at the direction of Daryl Gates, vast economic disparity relative to other citizens of LA, and an environment of gang violence. Can you imagine being held at gunpoint by thugs entering your school bus because you had made a few gestures at them out your window? Being forced to the ground with hands behind your back by the police for no other reason than the color of your skin? You also see NWA's defense so eloquently put by Ice Cube (well, his son, O'Shea Jackson, Jr., who plays him brilliantly): they were simply reflecting their world, honestly, and were also protected by the First Amendment. There isn't a lot of visibility put into the misogynistic lyrics of the genre and these artists, but it is clear that they were young men acting out, and when we see the older Cube a family man, sagely reflecting back on a video he made was younger, we appreciate that. We tend to have barriers and stereotypes built up, demonizing others we don't understand particularly when they confront and challenge the status quo, and this movie really helps break those down. At the same time, the attitude and actions against women were the areas that I felt the artists got too much of a pass, and a perfectly honest movie would have included those elements. I liked seeing all of the personalities in what was a very special time in music history, similar to when McCartney met Lennon or Jagger met Richards. Fans of those bands, calm down, I'm not suggesting NWA reached the heights of the Beatles or Stones, but what an incredible influence they had on an entire genre from the crucible that was Compton in the 80's. You see the fiery lyrics of Ice Cube, the visionary genius of Dr. Dre, and the tragic story of Eazy-E. Corey Hawkins plays Dre and Jason Mitchell plays Eazy-E, and both are fantastic. You see great nuance in the character of the band's manager Paul Heller, played by Paul Giamatti, who advocates for them and advances them, but also ultimately screws them. You see the jealousies between the band members lead to a schism. You see Snoop Dogg (Keith Stanfield) arrive on the scene, and you see a real villain in Suge Knight (R. Marcos Taylor), who at first seems to be helping them get out of a situation in which they're being taken advantage of, but quickly does that himself, and in addition, exercise extreme violence in asserting his power. The quality of the acting is consistently high. The story itself is fascinating, and Director F. Gary Gray did a great job of figuring out what to leave in and what to leave out. Even though it's 147 minutes, which is long, you'll find it flies by and doesn't seem long, which is the sign of a great story-teller. It's quite surprising that none of these fine actors, the director, or the movie itself were even nominated for an Oscar, and quite right that that fact was widely protested. Definitely go see this movie.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 20, 2016
    I was a barely born during the era of NWA, but I grew up listening to Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac because of my brother. I was unfamiliar with Eazy-E, but my brother gave me a little background of the beef between them. It was a great film I thought and the actors portrayed them well. It took me back for sure.
    Nani V Super Reviewer
  • Sep 15, 2016
    Gangster rap is pretty far removed from my wheelhouse, and I've never followed N.W.A. closely enough to know if this biopic an accurate depiction of their career, but; a good movie is a good movie is a good movie. And Straight Outta Compton undeniably is that.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer

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